A Travel Price Comparison for Peru Cusco vs. Arequipa for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cusco or Arequipa?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Cusco or Arequipa, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Cusco or Arequipa?

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness.

Cusco is the starting point for many travelers making their way to the famed Machu Picchu or other Inca sites in the surrounding area.

The city is very beautiful and has impressive architecture throughout. The history is obvious as you walk around town and there are impressive ruins nearby, with the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman. The city also has a significant indigenous population that is obvious from their traditional clothing and style.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a pleasant daytime temperature year around. There are two distinct seasons with the dry season being between May and August and the wet season between December and March. During the dry season there is plenty of sun with occasional nighttime freezes. Frost is less common in the wet season.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Cusco, The Best 3-Day Tours from Cusco, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Peru, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Arequipa or Cusco?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cusco is $51, while the average daily cost in Arequipa is $47. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cusco and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cusco $23
    Arequipa $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cusco $46
    Arequipa $46
Compare Hotels in Cusco and Arequipa

Looking for a hotel in Cusco or Arequipa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cusco


Hotels in Arequipa


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cusco Hotel Prices and Arequipa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cusco $10
    Arequipa $6.04
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cusco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cusco:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Airport Cusco Transfers: $69
  • Convenient Transfer Service in Cusco: $41
  • Cusco – Puno Direct Transfers: $24
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer : $13
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Private Departure Transfer: $14
  • Cusco Airport Private Transfer with large Van: $45
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.00
  • Cusco Airport: Private 1-Way Transfer: $15
  • Cusco to Ollantaytambo: One-Way Private Transfer: $55

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.36
  • Bus Ride
    $0.44
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.95

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Private Transfer from Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Arequipa Airport Private Transfer: $25
  • Arequipa Bus Station Departure Transfer: $25
  • Airport private transfer to/from the city center: $26
  • 1-Way Airport Private Transfer: $31
  • Sihanouk Ville Airport Pickup or Transfer Private Car: $32
  • Transfer Between Arequipa's Airport and Hotels: $35
  • Full Day Tour to Colca including Transfer to Puno: $60
  • Koh Lanta any hotel to Krabi airport Private transfer: $72
  • From 2-Day Colca Canyon Tour with Transfer to Puno: $98
  • From 2-Day Colca Canyon Tour with Transfer to Puno: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Cusco or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and Cusco change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cusco $13
    Arequipa $14
Typical Food Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $2.18
  • Mango
    $0.54

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cusco.

  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class: $49
  • Pete's Peruvian Cooking Class: $52
  • Market Tour & Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class in Cusco: $53
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS DINNER - Short & Immersive Cooking Class: $53
  • Cooking Class and market tour with a local chef: $56
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class, Local Market Tour in Cusco: $57
  • Cusco Cooking Classes and San Pedro Market Tour: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $63
  • Peruvian Cooking Class & Market Tour: $65
  • Curious Monkey Cusco- Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $70

Typical Food Prices in Arequipa

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Arequipa:


  • Coke
    $0.41
  • Lunch
    $2.86
  • Ice Cream
    $1.09
  • Fruit
    $0.82
  • Ice Cream
    $0.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Arequipa.

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $25
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $34
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: $48
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: $48
  • Guided Food Tour in Arequipa City: $69
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 4 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $79
  • Arequipa Food Tour: Ancestral Cuisine & City Tour: $85
  • Peruvian cooking class + Pisco Sour class + Visit to the local market: $91
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market: $91
  • Food Tour Experience: $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cusco $29
    Arequipa $18
Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.72

Tours and Activities in Cusco

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cusco are as follows:

  • Free Walking Tour of Cusco: $2.00
  • Cusco : Half Day City Tour: $9.00
  • Cusco City Tour: $10
  • Combined city tour cusco: $10
  • Cusco City Tour including Sacsayhuaman Koricancha and Tambomachay: $10
  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $10
  • City Tour Cusco: $10
  • City tours Cusco: $10
  • extreme adventure in cusco warachicuy adventure park: $11
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Open Bus Tour of the City’s Wonder’s: $12
  • Mirabus City Tour | Panoramic View: $12

Typical Entertainment Prices in Arequipa

Here are a few typical costs in Arequipa for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.72
  • Salsa Class
    $2.72
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.97
  • Hot Springs
    $2.72

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

Here are a few actual costs in Arequipa for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 4-hour tour to the Sillar Route in Arequipa: $12
  • Arequipa 4 hrs City Tour, Campiña, Viewpoints and Sabandia Mill: $15
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Tour por la Ruta del Sillar, el Origen de Arequipa: $16
  • From Panoramic Tour of Arequipa: $20
  • From Sillar Route - Half Day Tour: $20
  • City tour with panoramic bus: $20
  • From Sillar Route Tour || Half Day ||: $20
  • Arequipa City tour in panoramic bus: $20
  • The Sillar Route Day Tour: $22
  • Tour Colca Full Day Promotional Price: $22
  • City and Country Tour: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cusco $9.58
    Arequipa $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Cusco

Also in Cusco, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cusco Pub Crawl - Bar Tour Cusco : $18
  • Cusco Pub Crawl: Cusco Bar Hopping Experience : $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with 10+ benefits: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access and Drinks: $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with more than 10 Benefits: $25

Typical Alcohol Prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.45

Sample the Local Flavors in Arequipa

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Arequipa:

  • Pub Crawl Tour in Arequipa with VIP Access.: $25
  • From Pisco and wine tour through the Majes Valley: $50
  • Pub Crawl Tour in Arequipa with Drinks and VIP Access.: $60


When comparing the travel costs between Cusco and Arequipa, we can see that Cusco is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cusco Expensive? and Is Arequipa Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cusco or Arequipa?

Arequipa has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Cusco. When comparing the sizes of Cusco and Arequipa, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.